Last Christmas, on a quick trip to Somerset, I was lucky enough to spend a night at At the Chapel, a former Congregational church dating to the 17th century in the village of Bruton. On the premises: a bakery, a wine shop, a café, bar, and restaurant, and upstairs, five recently renovated bedrooms for drowsy diners; some with views over Bruton's 12th century Saxon rooftops. As Matthew Norman wrote in the Guardian, "It was as close to a religious experience as this rampant atheist is ever likely to have in a house of the Lord."
Owned by former Notting Hill denizens Catherine Butler, a restaurateur, and her husband, architect and furniture designer Ahmed Sidki, At the Chapel gives nearby Babington House a run for the money. For more information, go to At the Chapel. The beautiful photos shown below were taken by Dee Purdy of She Had Us at Hello, unless otherwise noted.
Above: The double-height dining room is illuminated by a cascading glass fiber optic chandelier by Bruce Monro. The owners enlisted architects Mackenzie Wheeler to oversee the rehabilitation of the building.
Above: In the interior, "materials are limited to reclaimed oak, local Doulton stone, simple blackened wrought iron fittings," the architects say.
Above: "Faith" by Lucy Glendinning.
Above: A Pebble Coffee Table by Ahmed Sidki.
Above: At the Chapel also has a cafe and bakery where locals flock for breakfast.
Above: Freshly baked loaves.
Above: Interior details.
Above: A detail of the restaurant's graphics.
Above: Spartan marble-tiled baths.
Image via At the Chapel.
Above: Above the restaurant, there are five bedrooms.
Above: The exterior resembles a church but in fact was originally a coaching inn.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on January 9, 2013.